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Unions Successful in Targeting Healthcare Industry

DETROIT, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The number of representation petitions filed and elections held across all industries declined in 2007, according to data from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Unions successfully continued to organize the nation's healthcare industry, however. IRI Consultants and the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) released the data and analysis in the 30th Labor Activity in Healthcare Report.

Unions won 72 percent of representation (RC) elections held in healthcare in 2007 - versus a union win-rate of 62 percent in non-healthcare industries. The success rates for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC) and various state nurses associations were even higher at 79, 80 and 83 percent, respectively. The SEIU accounted for 47 percent of all representation petitions filed in the healthcare industry in 2007.

The states with the highest number of RC petitions filed in healthcare in 2007 include California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Washington. Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon and Puerto Rico were the states and territories with the largest percentage increase in RC petition filings.

In addition to analyses of national, regional and state representation and petition data, the report includes articles that review NLRB decisions from 2007 and discuss such legislative issues as nurse-staffing ratios, card-check and so-called neutrality laws. The report also highlights unions' organizing efforts in Texas' healthcare industry and surveys the year's major news stories in the labor movement. These include:

-- The CNA/NNOC joining the AFL-CIO and its partnering with the

Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals


-- Disaffiliation of the state nurses associations of New York, Ohio,

Oregon and Washington from the United American Nurses (UAN)

-- The American Nurses Association's termination of its relationship with

the UAN

-- Internal strife between SEIU leadership and its locals, particularly in


-- Unions' unprecedented financial and personnel commitments to support

candidates during the 2008 election cycle

The report raises concerns about potential impacts of corporate campaigns being conducted by SEIU and UNITE-HERE against vendors that support healthcare providers, including Aramark, Cintas and ServiceMaster.

Corporate campaigns are designed to damage an organization's reputation and image by inflicting significant external pressure on an organization in hopes of gaining leverage. Union-sponsored campaigns often aim for negotiating strength or to force employers to accept "neutrality," "free access" or "card check recognition" that make organizing workers far easier by side-stepping traditional secret-ballot elections overseen by the NLRB.

Founded in 1979, IRI Consultants offers organization development, corporate communications and employee relations consulting, training and leadership development services that help clients implement best practices to improve employee job satisfaction, enhance workplace productivity and facilitate and apply effective communication strategies.

ASHHRA, a division of the American Hospital Association, is the nation's only membership organization exclusively dedicated to meeting the professional needs of human resources leaders in healthcare.

A copy of the full report is available to non-ASHHRA members for $150 by contacting Sharon Allen at 312.422.3722.

SOURCE IRI Consultants
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